Solving the Parking Problem in DuPont Circle

By Ike Brannon

One of our neighbors bought a genuine London Cab a couple of years ago. Importing such a vehicle is very challenging: the new cabs off the assembly line do not meet US emissions laws and those that qualify as antiques—and thus are exempt from such standards—are usually rusted through and unusable. The only way for a London Cab to be legally brought over (as this one was, based on the stickers in its window) is to have a team of mechanics completely rebuild an existing one, virtually from the bottom up, while clearly documenting each step of the operation. Needless to say this cab represents a pricey investment.

However, such cabs are relatively cheap to store: Since our neighbor purchased his London Cab it has been parked on the street, in front of our building in the exact same space. The annual cost to its owner for the decal on his car that allows him to park it on our street is a mere $25.

In some places a fee that low would make perfect sense, but we happen to live on the edge of two very dense, affluent neighborhoods in Washington DC where parking is exceedingly scarce. Private parking spaces rent out for as much as $350 a month, and a parking spot in an underground garage recently sold for $60,000.  In other words, street parking is over 100 times cheaper than private parking.

This article originally appeared at the Reason Foundation. Click here to read the full article.